How do you dress for a summer motorcycle trip? Not what you think

The criteria for motorcycle clothing used in everyday riding change drastically during the journey. Safety is still important, looks are important, but comfort should be a priority when traveling long distances. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on new clothes.

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Rather, the following guide is intended for novice riders who have never ridden a long route before. After a few rides you know best what you need and what doesn’t work, because many problems are very individual. But before you start your first motorcycle tour, you don’t know anything yet. Then the first idea is usually an expedition set of textile membrane. After all, this is what travelers all over the world wear, so they must be good for us?

Remember you are not going on a world tour

Not necessary. It is a trap that novice motorcyclists fall into. Do not buy membrane clothing unless you are riding in a distinctly rainy and cold climate. In the summer you feel like in a plastic bag. Removable diaphragms also make no sense. They block the access of water to the body, but the outer material will absorb water anyway. Buy a cheap polyester rain set instead: pants and jacket. You only put them on over your motorcycle gear when it starts to rain heavily.

Suzuki motorcycle school. Such training should be mandatory

You choose clothing for the road in a completely different way than for everyday driving. The priority is comfort, not safety, because if you overheat in too thick clothes or get tired on the road in uncomfortable clothes, you are no longer a safe driver. You have to find a happy medium.

Expensive adventure style kits aren’t the only option or the best solution, especially if you don’t plan on riding off the tarmac on a hot summer day. And if you choose one without a membrane, but airy. The same goes for heavy and stiff expedition footwear. High boots will probably come in handy, but look for universal sports and touring models.

Suzuki GSX-S1000 GTSuzuki GSX-S1000 GT photo by Suzuki

Leather is the safest, but not the most comfortable

A one-piece leather suit is also not a good, albeit safe choice. It will be hot and uncomfortable on the road, especially if it gets wet. If you must ride in leather, opt for a perforated one. Leather pants, jackets, gloves and summer shoes usually have small, almost invisible holes.

Contrary to appearances, when traveling on asphalt roads, jeans and a jacket that you wear around town, fitted with motorcycle protectors, may work better. If you don’t already own such a piece of clothing, before you buy it, check what safety standards it meets. The more letters “A” you see in the CE marking required by the European Union (A, AA or AAA), the longer you can “scrub asphalt” with impunity.

In fact, most of it depends on how far you go and where you’re going. Remember that the route to the Baltic Sea requires a different preparation than a trip around the world. First, stay afloat in the heat (from a helmet, through a jacket and pants, to gloves and shoes). For this purpose, manufacturers use the so-called mesh panels or zippered vents.

photo: Suzuki GSX-R 1100 1990You can buy a motorcycle monster from the 90s. Suzuki GSX-R 1100 looks like new

Ventilation is the most important, but remember the colors

Adjust your clothes to the character of the bike. The better the fairings and windscreen protect against rain and wind, the lighter you need. Comfort while driving should be your priority, but unfortunately for the first longer route you have to figure out what it will offer.

The cooling underwear is invaluable as it wicks sweat away from the body and dries quickly. When it’s hot, you will definitely sweat, and then modern synthetics will bring relief. It is best to buy the whole set, including a balaclava. Also don’t forget earplugs, but special motorcycle ones.

Suzuki KatanaSuzuki Katana photo: Suzuki / jason_critchell

You must prevent your body from cooling down while driving

On the road it is completely different than in the city. The longer you go without stopping, the colder it gets. Take an extra layer of insulation that can be tucked under the jacket to keep you from getting cold. If you don’t have one, a raincoat worn over it can help, especially after sunset. Also bring something to protect your neck from the wind – a long balaclava or a chimney.

Don’t go far in brand new clothes. Try them sooner. Check if it is comfortable on a short route, then it becomes more flexible and adapts to the figure in advance. This is especially important for gloves and shoes, but also for other garments. With numb hands or feet you are certainly not a safe traveler.

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